Aquinas' Teleological Argument

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Philosophy of Religion (OCR)

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Summary of AS Psychology Unit 1 Memory
Aquinas' Teleological Argument
1 Based on observation of world, thus posteriori + inductive (based on assumptions not logical certainty.
1.1 Telos= end goal/purpose
1.1.1 Looking for a purpose or end to suggest that there is a divine creator
2 Fifth way- Characterised as a "Design qua regularity of succession" argument as he outilnes that natural things regularly follow the same order.
2.1 Everything in the universe appears to be working in some sort of order
2.1.1 Particularly, "natural bodies" behave in a regular way. Daffodils flower in spring time Natural bodies may "lack intelligence" in the sense that they are not conscious beings but even so they move/act with regularity Aquinas suggests that these things cannot provide their own movement due to a lack of intelligence. He suggests this movement does not occur "fortuitously but designedly" This means that their movement, regularity and purposefulness has not come about by chance but something else has caused these "natural bodies" to behave in a regular manner. Analogy of arrow- Arrow can only fulfil it's purpose of hitting the target if it is guided by an archer Similarly the movement/regularity of things is directed by an intelligible being. The analogy of the arrow is used to demonstrate the link God to creation. Unintelligent beings could not achieve their purpose without being directed by an intelligent being. (E.g an acorn could not grow into an oak tree) Aquinas concludes; God is the intelligent being that provides the regularity of movement and guarentees the fulfilment of purpose. Like Aquinas' 1st and 2nd Way, Aquinas' fifth way can be connected to Aristotle.The idea of everything fulfilling a purpose is similar to Arisotle's Final Cause as it is ultimately the prime mover that makes things reach their purpose. There is a big difference. Aquinas' archer makes the arrow reach it's target deliberately; i.e the theistic God has a purpose for all things. Aristotle's Prime Mover is not interested in the world+ can only think about himself. Aquinas is thus a theist rather than simply a follower of Aristotle.
2.2 Can also be seen as a "qua purpose" argument as he says that natural bodies achieve their END/PURPOSE by being directed by an intelligent being.

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